Хрен (часть первая)

by Don  

One spice that Russians really like is хрен horseradish. Many American families never buy horseradish; I don't think my mother ever had it in our household, so it's worth pointing out that the horseradish root looks like this:

The root is then ground into a paste, and it is used as spice or a condiment on the side:

I've never encountered the word in the plural, only the singular:


Horseradish is used with a variety of dishes:

В России часто подают ростбиф с хреном. In Russia they often serve roast beef with horseradish.
Мама приготовила салат из хрена с морковью и яблоками. (recipe) Mom made an apple, carrot and horseradish salad.
Хрен богат калием, кальцием, натрием, серой, фосфором, железом и другими минеральными веществами. (source) Horseradish is rich in potassium, calcium, sodium, sulfur, phosphorus, iron and other mineral substances.

Although хрен is a perfectly good word, completely acceptable in polite company, it has another use, too...

Warning! The following paragraphs contain Russian and English vulgarity.

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Comment from: Boris [Visitor]

It’s a funny thing, but “Хрен получишь” и “Ни хрена не дам” the same. ;)

12/02/10 @ 02:59
Comment from: Sasha [Visitor]  

I haven’t heard the phrase “в хренУ” ever. Must be local.

11/08/10 @ 09:33
Comment from: Arseny [Visitor]

Another form is “НЕ хрена ему знать об бизнесе” (не хрена instead нечего). And it would not me, if I don’t say about locative case although it very rare e.g. “поросенок, жареный в хренУ и майонезе".

11/05/10 @ 05:55
Comment from: Edgar [Visitor]

My favorite is “xrenovi” which as an adjective means “crappy, of poor quality.”

11/04/10 @ 14:06
Comment from: Yegor [Visitor]

One of interesting forms is “хреновина”. It’s both a vulgar naming of an abstract thing and a dish.

Что это за хреновина? — What the hell is that?

Мы заготовили десять банок хреновины. [I don’t really know how to translate that precisely]

Hrenovina is a mix of tomatoes with horseradish and garlic. It’s quite a spicy thing. It goes well with a bread and soup. And it’s a good seasoning for vareniky.

Here is a photo of this:

There is also the word “хрень”. It may only be used to refer to something, not to describe the dish.

11/04/10 @ 13:25
Comment from: Bruce Dumes [Visitor]

I had to laugh when I saw the phrase “Иди на хрен!", because of the use of “идти", implying that hell is a close-by place that we don’t need a vehicle to get to.

11/04/10 @ 07:44

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